Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 18: Awkwardness and Led Zeppelin

I heard Stairway to Heaven on the drive in this morning. And just like that, I am not in my car; I am transported back to the eighth grade:


I’m in the high school cafeteria at 10pm (because that’s the time they play Stairway to Heaven to signal the end of the school dance). I have butterflies in my stomach, and my palms are sweaty because I was told that Derrick Lenail (I changed his name but it rhymes with the real one) is going to ask me to dance. He hadn’t up to this point, and this would be his last chance to do so. Ten seconds into the song, and just like magic I see him walk towards me. I think, “Oh Derrick! You’re so cute; you look JUST like Joey Joe from the New Kids on the Block! I can’t believe you’re about to ask me to dance!!”

A bit of back-story: Derrick never noticed me until the day before the dance. I had just performed a funny rendition of ‘Sooner Or Later’ from the movie Dick Tracy in the high school variety show the night before. I guess he liked it, because he stopped me in the hall and said, “Hey, I didn’t know you could sing, that was really cool. You were funny, too”. (I’m pretty sure I said something back but I can’t remember- this was the biggest moment in all my 14 years on the planet, who the hell could concentrate?!). Then he asked, “You going to the dance tonight?”  Swoon. Needless to say, the rest of that day felt a decade long.

So back to the cafeteria:

He walks up to me, and says, “Hi, do you wanna dance?”  “Ummm, DUH!! You waited until the LAST possible dance number, Derrick!”(I said that last part in my head).  So we make our way amongst the crowd of couples, choose a spot and dance. High school-styles. His hands on my hips, mine on his shoulders and our bodies about a Toyota Camry apart. We never looked at eachother. (I know this because I was too busy noticing my friends giggling, pointing, and giving me a thumbs up). We dance some more. (This is a really long song). Then, oh dear, the fast part starts. The slowest song in the world is now an aerobics class. Shit, how the hell do you dance to this? We kind of pretend it’s still slow- except now I feel the need to bop my head from side to side to keep time with the music. I get into it. And then I see he is kind of cringing at the bopping. I stop, and smile weakly. Back to slow.  An hour later, the song is over, the lights come on bright and I take a good look at him and realize: Derrick Lenail…meh!

For your rocking-out pleasure:

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